The World Food Program has conveyed a message of gratitude to the Swedish government for increasing its contributions to the United Nations agency in 2011.
Sweden’s latest pledge amounts to 556 million Swedish kronor (USD84.7 million), which, according to WFP, is “fully flexible and can be used to provide food assistance wherever it is needed most.” The sum is 15 percent higher than Sweden’s 2010 contribution.
“At a time when concerns are growing about the impact that volatility on global food markets is having on the lives of the hungry, this latest Swedish pledge means that the vulnerable will not be forgotten,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in an Oct. 14 press release. “Earthquakes, floods and droughts this year have threatened the livelihoods of people living in Haiti, Pakistan and Niger. Swedish support for WFP means that we can respond quickly and help communities in distress to recover and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of natural disasters.”
A day earlier, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation announced it will provide USD13 million in grants over four years for WFP’s Purchase for Progress initiative, which benefits smallholder farmers in rural Central America.
The contribution will help 24,000 farmers in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua gain access to agricultural markets and boost their incomes.